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Debian Won't Install! (System Locks Up)

Awhile back, I purchased a book, "Learning Debian 
GNU/Linux", and was unable to install the version of Debian 
that came with the book (the CD-ROM that was included in 
the back of the book).

So, I then purchased the CD-ROM's for Debian, version 
"Potato", from a mail-order vendor.  Still had problems.

In the installation, the install program that comes up is a 
simple text-based interface, with scrolling lists and such. 
 But if I try to scroll the lists, the whole computer 
bombs--it just locks up.  It is very strange; the keyboard 
wont' work, the RESET switch won't work, I have to 
power-down, and then power back up and reboot.

I am booting from the CD-ROM (although I have tried making 
floppy disks to boot from; but it didn't matter).

I joined the "debian-user" list, to try and figure out what 
was wrong.  On the list, some people suggested that my 
video card might be to blame; even though it works fine in 
all other operating systems.  The card is an ATI Rage 128. 
It was suggested that I try WOODY Debian.

So, I just received my CD-ROMs containing WOODY.  However, 
I STILL CANNOT INSTALL!  What is going on?

I can get through the installation process, by formatting 
my hard drive ahead of time, and then just hitting <ENTER> 
at each prompt.  BUT THE REAL PROBLEM COMES when I am 
supposed to choose "modules".  I do not understand this 
part, but in the book, "Learning Debian GNU/Linux", at this 
section, they say that I should choose THESE MODULES to 

Table 3-3: Modules To Install

Catgory  |  Module
  fs     |  binfmt_aout
  fs     |  smbfs
  fs     |  vfat
  misc   |  lp
  misc   |  serial
  net    |  bsd_comp
  net    |  dummy
  net    |  ppp

I show these, to point out exactly where in the 
installation procedure I always fail.  I cannot scroll 
through these lists; in fact, I can choose the FIRST "fs" 
above (binfmt_aout), because I don't have to scroll any 
lists, I just have to click the down-arrow a few times to 
get to where "fs" is, and then when I select that, 
"binfmt_aout" is right there, and I select that, and then 
it is fine.

But when I go further down the list, the greater the 
chances the system is going to lock up, WITHOUT WARNING.

This is a simple, text-based install procedure.  It should 
be compatible with ANY basic video card.  What is going on?

I am currently running Red Hat Linux 7.1. I can also run 
(and have run just fine in the past:) SuSE Linux, Mandrake 
Linux, and various other types of Linux that I've tried.  
Also, I used to run Windows 95, 98, and 2000 on this very 
system, with no problems.


The video card doesn't seem to be what's a fault, anymore.  
I think the install procedure in Debian has a flaw, 
somehow; but how?  If it works for everyone else?

I stripped ALL of the hardware out of my computer, except 
what was absolutely NEEDED for the install--trying to see 
what other pieces of hardware might be causing the trouble. 
 I also changed my keyboard, twice.  I haven't tried a 
different video card, because I cannot afford it, and 
anyhow I am using that same video card in Linux, right now 
(but tragically, this isn't Debian!)  I am running Red Hat 
7.1, <sigh!>

I have an ABIT motherboard, with 256 MB of RAM, a sis-gig 
hard drive, a 30-gig hard drive, an Intel PII 400 MHz, 300W 
power supply, D-Link DFE-530TX ethernet card, standard 
SoundBlaster sound card, a 56kb modem card that is not 
being used, a generic fast CD-ROM player (56X?  I don't 
recall), and a floppy drive.  I am using a cable modem box, 
for Cox@home Internet connection.

Does anyone have any ideas at all?  Please help!

If there are alternative ways to install Debian from the 
CD-ROM (automatic, for instance), then I would like to hear 
about any & all alternatives; because I figure that once it 
is installed, the problem will go away--after all, Debian 
IS simply Linux, and I am using Linux right now!  :-)

Thanks in advance,

--Mark Seven Smith

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